Anti-Semitism on the rise in Germany

A recent German music industry awards night, expected to be a festive occasion, instead brought to the surface an ugly undercurrent of anti-Semitism. The annual Echo Music Prize recognises musical achievements by German and international artists, producers and record labels.

This year, controversial German rappers Kollegah and Farid Bang received an Echo for best hip-hop/urban album. In Jung Brutal Gutaussehend 3 (Young, brutal, good-looking 3), one line in particular caused an outcry: ‘My body is more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates’.

The award was highly criticised at a time when Germany is facing the return of what was thought a relic of the past. Anti-Semitic attacks have been increasing across the county. Last year, a 14-year-old Jewish student left his school after being verbally and physically attacked by fellow students. In 2012, Berlin’s rabbi Daniel Alter was brutally attacked in front of his young daughter. Media reports say schools in Berlin have seen a sharp rise in the number of attacks on Jewish students and struggle to find appropriate responses.

But it took the openly displayed hatred on a video for the federal government and other political and cultural representatives to publicly express their shock and condemnation. The video showed a young man being slapped with a belt while his attacker repeatedly yells ‘Jew’ in Arabic into his face.

Read the article by Jacqueline Westermann in The Strategist.